Forum for Holocaust Studies

Introduction to the Historic Photographs of Gustav Metzger
Interview with Gustav Metznger


The term Holocaust is widely taken to refer to the extermination of the European Jews by the Nazis. Once the nature and scale of the event became known, we all cried out Never Again. This cry expresses all humanity’s pessimism and optimism: the infinite dread that it will be repeated and the determination to stand in its way.

On the one hand, since the event that gave the phenomenon its name, our understanding has altered: we have come to realise that this was not unique in 20th Century history and that Jews were not its only victims. We have also come to realise that events of this nature are going to happen again and again, in one form or another. Everything surrounding the Holocaust is steeped in pessimism.

Yet to survive, to fight and to resist implies the deployment of optimism in equal measure. Every act of genocide calls forth our cries of protest against it. Our outrage is inexhaustible. Our sympathy goes out to those who resist. Our anger pursues the perpetrators beyond the grave.

Caught between hope and dread, we set out our fears, re-presenting them to our selves. Representation is sharing, and the way that sharing evolves is a function of time and technology. If, since the end of World War II, the industrialisation of killing has been outstripped by the industrialisation of life, there is every reason to expect that it will soon catch up. Yet, by a perverse quirk of the law of combined and uneven development, even if the killing is not always industrialised, it is increasingly mediatised.

Keeping step with our understanding and needs, forms of representation of the Holocaust have been evolving since the very first escape from Auschwitz. They continue to evolve and will only stop if humanity feels it no longer has any interest in investing time and effort in such projects.

The Electronic Forum for the Study of the Holocaust is a site devoted to the study of issues around the Jewish Holocaust and other genocides perpetrated since the beginning of the 20th Century. It is multi-disciplinary and welcomes contributions from academics, students and researchers in all fields of investigation and representation: fiction and art in all its forms, historiography, memoir and analysis. It aims to bring together in one forum all forms of study and expression and evolve into a versatile tool fro the study of the Holocaust. It seeks, especially, to become a forum for discussion and to bring together all those who have an interest in the subject.